Thursday, March 06, 2008

Women like to Sing Too

As with many past seasons, most people think the girls are better than the guys in the early rounds. Ironically, last week the guys had slightly better ratings than the girls; maybe the programming on other networks explains this disconnect, or maybe David Hernandez has a devout following of gay men from his stripper days. Hey if a guy gives you a lap dance the least you can do is watch him sing on television. The guys delivered 5 great performances last night, leaving 3 in serious danger. Can the girls match the guys or even surpass them with 6 great performances? Will someone finally have a ‘moment?’ Will Asiah recover from her sickness? Will Kady finally show us the personality and ability we all think she has hidden deep inside? Will Amanda not suck this week? These are many more questions will soon have answers. Ryan, take us away….

The show starts with the camera panning over all the girls and Brooke has the fakest smile I’ve ever seen plastered on her face. I wonder if she took some thing from Paula’s stash. This is obviously an important night; we know this because Ryan is wearing a tie, even if the knot is falling apart. Ryan asks Randy why he is so nice this season, and Randy looks at the girls and tells them to all bring it tonight. Wow when they show the girls Ramiele really looks like a small child. Paula asks the girls why they aren’t wearing bad hair and makeup to celebrate the 80s. Simon says everyone must step it up – no one is safe.


She was an extra on the set of a movie and had to rollerskate, but she ran into the big set light and busted her butt. But it was ok because David H. gave her a free lap dance. She is starting out at the top of the stairs, which is becoming the new ‘cool’ way to start your song this season. Here comes Whitney Houston, except without the voice. She is prancing around the stage when she hits the chorus. She is trying to perk up this karyoke classic. Her ridiculously high pants are distracting me from her singing. Paula loves this song and is dancing like she was still a Laker girl. The crowd is really getting into the song. She sounds pretty good I guess, but this isn’t exactly a ground-breaking performance. I feel like I should be ordering a second round of chicken wings in my local kayoke bar. Did I mention this feels too karaoke for my tastes? I’m guessing Randy will say it was alright, Paula will love it, and Simon will think it is either karoke or a cruise ship…if he says karoke on a cruise ship she should just pull herself out of the show. Randy laughs because he recorded that song with Whitney, but despite the tall order of the song, she proved she belonged, because that was hot. Paula admits she wasn’t sure she could pull it off, but now that she is well, she nailed it, she really nailed it. Simon is not quite so enthusiastic. He says at best it was second rate Whitney Houston. Asiah says she’ll take second rate Whitney. Simon says with respect, she couldn’t hit the big notes at the end and didn’t come close to being America’s favorite crack addict. Ryan says no pitch protrol from Randy, that’s a new one, and it’s quite creative. Simon does add his hope that Asiah makes the top 12.


Back in the Coke room, Ryan is sitting with Kady. They talk about how dramatic last week was for her, and how she thought she would be going home. She says she was really shocked because Alaina was so great. Her most embarrsing moment was during her 9th grade talent show audition where she didn’t sing well, and triped over a microphone cord destroying the speaker system. She is singing a Queen song, one where she might be able to finally show off her voice. She has a rich voice and might be able to go lower than the other girls. Kat McPhee did this a couple years ago I wonder if the judges remember. She sounds like she is just missing the note on the big ones, not quite able to put together a complete performance. However, she sounds good on most of the notes and ends with a pretty sound. I think her chances on Idol will be sealed by the judges’ comments. If they like her tonight she stays, if they do not she goes. I have a feeling the pitch patrol might be prowling for Kady. She does get a standing ovation. Randy says it was an interesting song choice, but it was a pretty good job of it, the good thing for you is you hit the big notes really well. Paula thinks this was her best performance to date and disagrees with Randy, because she loves the softer notes the most. Simon says it was better than last week, but he is still having issues with her massive lack of personality when she sings; he just can’t get anything out of her when she sings. Kady says it was a sad song, but he replys you can still make a sad song emotional, and he felt no emotion. Kady says she thinks she did enough. Ryan asks her why she is different on stage, but Kady says she isn’t sure what Simon means. Ryan asks Simon, but the Brit slaps him down. Kady is in trouble.


She is wearing Robbie’s old dew rag. Her moment is just a little scary. She burnt down a pool. Umm I don’t think that’s what they meant by embarrassing moments Amanda, in fact, I think you just admitted to arson. And anyway, wouldn’t her most embrassing moment be pulling out in front of a semi? Or what about her hair last week, that’s more embarrassing than buring down an entire national forest. She is rocking out again this week. She has Steven Tyler’s scarves around her neck. The band has more fun playing her songs than any other Idol. The judges spend so much time talking about Kady’s lack of personality, but what personality does Amanda have? All she does is put on an Elvis snarl the entire time and move around a little. She sounds ok, but she sounds her best when the back up singers join in. This is a 4 note song, which means if you can’t really sing and just want a good performance, then this is your song. The judges will probably eat this up. In fact, Paula is giving her a standing ovation. Randy says that’s the Amanda we love, and thinks she should be singing these kinda songs. Paula wants to say so many things. She loves Amanda’s hair and her song choice. Simon thinks it was fantastic. He says she nailed that song, a perfect song for her, and this is one of his favorite girl performances so far. She barely cracks a smile after hearing his praise. Amanda then puts on a Brooke style fake smile to show Ryan she can in fact look happy, even on demand. Her hair really does look a lot better, but her vocals are not that much stronger than last week. She still did not prove she can sing, at least not to my ears. Great performance yes, but great vocals? No. That being said, the people at home will eat up the rocking nurses Hillary like come back and vote, vote, vote for her, meaning she should be safe tomorrow night.


Ryan welcomes us back and gets in his first itunes plug of the night, at least he laughs while he sells stuff. Carly’s most embarrassing moment involved getting her leg getting stuck in the railing at her bar so badly, they needed butter, oil, and bathroom soap to slip her leg free. Carly’s has great hair again, I wonder if she just wasn’t washing it the first few weeks. She sounds good and is giving a good performance. See this is how you combine good vocals with a good performance. In fact, I am going to go so far as to say this is what happens when you combine great vocals with a great performance. Carly nails the big sustained notes and sounds great in the moving melodic parts. She is now the best of the night. Hopefully the judges agree with my assessment. Randy says ‘yo Carly you keep smashing it every week.” He calls her dude and says she had another great performance. Paula calls her dude as well, imitating Randy and thinks Carly’s singing defies description. Simon doesn’t think she picked the right song because he knows it as the Celine version of the song. The crowd boos, but Simon persists this is not a great song. Ryan is hovering off stage killing time until Simon is finished ranting. Carly’s mom is in the audience from Ireland, and oh my god, David H. is giving her a lap dance. The judges put so much emphasis on ‘song choice’ but how much choice do the contestants really have in the early rounds. There are only 50 songs every week, for 8 people. That means you might end up with your 9th favorite choice as your song. How well do you think you are going to perform that if all the songs you wanted went to other contestants. The judges keep inferring the Idols could have picked any of the thousands of the songs from the 80s, but this is just not true. If you vocals are ‘spot on,’ then the judges should comment on the vocals and leave the discussion of song choice for someone that failed to adequately perform.


Her embarrassment apex came when she was 7 years old because she used to pretend she was a dog, for about a year. I wonder if she is just saying she pretended she was a dog to get some nice comments from Randy tonight, and she is singing Journey. If Randy doesn’t love her tonight she has no chance. She has her legs in that odd position again; the one that looks like she is about to ride a horse. She is giving the song a little bit of a country vibe and she has a few new facial expressions. I think she goes a little sharp when she hits the big notes, but overall her voice sounds good. However, this is like Kady II. Kristy is trying for the moment, but like Kady, I do not think she can quite get where she is aiming. This is just an ‘ok’ performance and I have to believe there were better songs, even if they only had 50 at their disposal. Randy says he loves dogs and journey and he loves this girl. He loves the song of course, and even though she is not Steve Perry he likes her country vibe on the song. He actually liked it. Paula thinks this could be a country music hit, an amazing country music hit. She also likes the way Kristy looks tonight. Simon liked the country influence, but he still thinks Kristy is forgettable, so at best he could see her coming in 10th. Kristy is fine with that! Ryan asks her about her voice and she says she woke up this morning with a little voice problem, but she persevered and overcame. Kristy might be in trouble tomorrow, depending how the remaining girls sound.


Back from commercial we join Ryan in the Coke room as he joins Ramiele on the balcony. The girls that already performed look relaxed. He tells Ramielle to run down to the stage now because her little legs can only carry her so fast. So its ok to make fun of someone because they are short does that mean Ryan will be cracking jokes about ‘coloreds’ next week with Chikeze? Ramieles most embarrassing moment is when she accidently flushed herself down the toilet – it’s dangerous being so small. In 5th grade she rode her pink bike to a boy’s house she liked and dropped off her picture, but instead of fawning over the girl crushing on him, the punk laughed at her picture, much like millions of people are currently laughing at her Facebook pictures someone posted online. What is the 80s without Phil Collins? Awful that’s what, so we get another Phil song tonight. She isn’t sustaining her phrases, unable to breathe through all the notes. Her big note falls flat in the middle – alert the pitch patrol. This song only works if the singer makes an emotional connection with the lister, and I don’t think Ramiele is connecting with me tonight. This is a rather listless performance rife with pitch problems. This is one of the poorer vocals tonight. She knows; she is not happy with herself. Randy says another big song with big vocals, and he is happy she returned to this style, but she needs to find the confidence again. He liked her vocals but he wants more of her ‘mad vocals’ next time. Paula starts off talking about Ramiele’s face, never a good sign. She then talks about the colors of Ramiele’s voice…uh oh, not that again. She is completely gone now making no sense. She has reached Admiral Stockdale territory. But she recovers near the end of her soliloquy to declare Ramiele should make the top 12. Simon thinks she was old fashioned tonight and predictable. He is not jumping out of his chair despite the big vocals from the little girl. Ryan asks her why she sang this song and Ramiele says because of past experiences, but she will not elaborate. Yet she is more than willing to tell us one of the boys is wearing her glasses. And of course it is Danny. He is going to dominate the drag queen theme week. Ramiele should not feel safe tomorrow.

Brooke White

Ryan is frolocking with the judges, asking what Simon says to Paula before she gives her comments. Simon is cracking up and turning red, but Ryan doesn’t let that stop him from plugging itunes yet again. Brooke’s most embarrassing moment is when she was a little kid and jumped on some random guys back because she thought it was her father. David H. just stood up and told everyone how he always jumps on random guys, even Brooke’s father during the crazy Shriners Convention of 98. She is sitting on the stage to start the song. Never thought this would be a sit down song. Somewhere Pat just hanged herself. She wouldn’t be able to do all that great Thriller ripped off dancing with such a slow version. I hope Brooke sits the entire time, don’t be like everyone else and stand up halfway through the song. She is giving the song a country vibe with her vocal inflections. There isn’t anything particularly brilliant about Brooke, but she is very likeable and easy listening. If I came across her on the radio I don’t think I would change the station. The scaled back sitting down performance is risky but I think it is working and she is giving us some pretty good vocals. Randy says he liked her just sitting and singing and he really liked it, even if she didn’t bring anything new to the song. What? Randy are you serious? The original version was pop/rock and you don’t know if she brought anything new to the song? Seriously? This sounds NOTHING like the original, I’d call that bringing something different. Brooke has a ‘huh’ look on her face when she says that misstatement. Randy then says Paula choreographed the video for the song and Paula I think says she didn’t, it just got weird. Paula thinks Brooke’s song choice was wise but would have liked the band involved more. Simon thinks it worked because there was no band. This was an original take on the song he said, and once again, two weeks running, he thinks she did a great performance. The judges all try and talk but cancel each other out before Ryan regains control. Brooke should be safe; she deserves to make the top 12.


This time Ryan is on stage when we return and he introduces us to Syesha’s embarrassing 2nd grade moment when she wrote a guy a letter with bubble gum in the note. But, the kid told on her for passing notes, ate her gum, and then killed Asiah’s father, ok, I made the last one up, but someone should see if he has an alibi. She is foolishly doing a Whitney song, can she pull it off? She sounds pretty good but the song is so big she is screaming to get out the higher notes and screaming produces sharp notes. If I had never heard the original version I might stand and clap for her, but instead all I can think is how bad she sounds compared to Ms. Houston. How did this get her the pimp spot? I guess big vocals = pimp spot, even if the vocals aren’t all that good. Simon looks unimpressed when they go to the judges, who are apparently short on time. Randy simply says good good. Paula thinks it was sophisticated and lovely. Simon liked it but thought it was predictable. This is really not fair to Syesha. Because Ryan did not manage the show well she gets 10 seconds from the judges. It’s like on the Oscars when they let the best film editing guy ramble on for 4 minutes and then cut off the best actress winner 30 seconds into her thank yous. I guess its ok for Syesha to do Whitney since they judges don’t mention the danger of doing one of Houston’s songs…oh wait, I know why, because they had NO time to comment.

Final Thoughts

Ramiele sounds better during the recap, but I think this footage is from the run through before the actual show, so I am not going to revise my earlier comments knocking her singing. Ryan implores us to call even telling us what to do in the case of a busy signal. Randy thinks they did their thing, Paula doesn’t want anyone to go, but Simon is not happy. He doesn’t think they are anywhere near the guys, except for Amanda, who delivered his favorite performance. While Simon is talking Kady is giving him a thumbs down. This should earn her a few more votes; if she ever figures out how to show some of her spunk while she sings she could go really far, assuming she survives judgment day tomorrow. Paula tries to say something, but Ryan cuts her off so eh can thank sthe band and plug Blake Lewis’s Idol return. Brooke seems really happy to hear he is coming. I know when I think Brooke I think beat boxing. As they fade out Asiah goes for a ride on Kady’s back, again with the personality. It’s like she has two personalities. So how goes home tomorrow? Carly had the best vocals tonight, even if the judges didn’t realize it at the time. Brooke was fantastic with her variation of a classic pop song. Amanda performed well, even if her vocals were less than spectacular. All three of them are lock solid safe tomorrow, everyone else should be very worried. Especially Kady and Kristy. I’m certain another Barbie will go, but I am not sure which one. Kady under whelmed again but Kristy’s country take will be offset by Brooke’s country vibe, stealing essential votes from the former dog imitator. Joining one of the blondes will be either Asiah or Syesha, who should cancel out each other’s votes. I think despite Ramiele’s poor performance, her fan base, comprised mostly of midgets and dwarves, will launch her into the top 12.


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